Wednesday, August 13, 2008

World Games - Racquetball Qualifiers & Website

The 2008 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships in Kingscourt, Ireland served as the qualifying event for the 2009 World Games to be held next July in Kaohsiung, Chines Taipei. The top 16 finishers in men's and women's singles qualified to play in Taipei.

Those players - in order of finish - are :

1. Rocky Carson (USA)
2. Jack Huczek (USA)
3. Vincent Gagnon (Canada)
4. Alvaro Beltran (Mexico)
5. Polo Gutierrez Sortes (Mexico)
6. Fernando Rios (Ecuador)
7. Michimune Kono (Japan)
8. Mike Green (Canada)
9. Victor Montserrat (Catalonia, Spain)
10. Ricardo Monroy (Bolivia)
11. Felipe Camacho (Costa Rica)
12. Takaaki Hirose (Japan)
13. Jorge Zamprana (Bolivia)
14. Ivan Villegas (Costa Rica)
15. Leonel Simo (Dom. Republic)
16. Luis Perez (Dom. Republic)
17.* Dany Maggi (Argentina)
18.* Sebastian Roessler (Chile)
19.* Marcelo Laprea (Venezuela)
20.* Sang Soo Lee (Korea)

Women :
1. Rhonda Rajsich (USA)
2. Cheryl Gudinas Holmes (USA)
3. Paola Longoria (Mexico)
4. Jennifer Saunders (Canada)
5. Angela Grisar (Chile)
6. Josée Grand'Maître (Canada)
7. Toshiko Sakamoto (Japan)
8. Susana Acosta (Mexico)
9. Yazmine Sabja (Bolivia)
10. Harumi Kajino (Japan)
11. Maria Paz Munoz (Ecuador)
12. Fabiola Marquez (Chile)
13. Jenny Daza (Bolivia)
14. Cristina Cordova (Ecuador)
15. Jung Eun Ane (Korea)
16. Vivianna Reveron (Venezuela)
17.* Christina Amaya (Columbia)
18.* Mariana Paredes (Venezuela)
19.* Jeong Ae Lee (Korea)
20.* Ciara McManamon (Ireland)

If one of the 16 qualifiers is not able to compete in Taipei, then the next qualifying player would go. Thus, qualifications go to the player, not the country. For example, if Carson or Huczek can't make it to Taipei, then Dany Maggi would qualify - even though Maggi isn't from the same country as Carson or Huczek.

Thus, we're listing players in the 17-20 places, because it's possible some of them will still get a chance to participate in the World Games.

If you check out the World Games website, it's their symbol for racquetball above, you'll see it's a curious collection of events. Some of them are familiar to North Americans (squash, say), and some aren't (korfball anyone?). Some of them will seem like they could be Olympic sports some day, and others not so much (tug of war?).

Nonetheless, this is a step up the ladder in international recognition for racquetball, and we're happy to see it.